Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles. Isaiah 40:31
whose Son, Jesus Christ, healed the sick
and brought them wholeness of body and mind:
inspire us, his disciples,
so that we may constantly proclaim his gospel
by our words
and by the dedication and integrity of our lives;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
- Isaiah 40:21-31
- Psalm 147:1-11
- 1 Corinthians 9:16-23
- Mark 1:29-39
- 2 Kings 2:1-12
- Psalm 50:1-6
- 2 Corinthians 4:3-12
- Mark 9:2-29
A Thought to Ponder
Epiphany 5 Mark 1:29-39
Rising very early before dawn, Jesus left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.
Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.”
Jesus told them, “Let us go to the nearby villages that I preach there also. For this purpose I have come.” So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.
Throughout his Gospel, Mark portrays Jesus as somewhat uncomfortable with his growing renown as a miracle worker. He clearly values time away from the crowds to be alone to pray – even though that time is cut short by the needs of those around him.
Jesus works miracles not out of any need of his own for the adulation of the masses but out of an extraordinary sense of compassion, a deep love for his brothers and sisters, especially those in crisis or pain. The miracles he works are not to solicit acclaim for himself but to awaken faith and trust in the Word of God, to restore in humankind God’s vision of a world united as brothers and sisters under his providence (“that is what I have come to do”). Jesus’ compassion for those who come to him breaks down stereotypes and defences that divide, segregate and marginalise people; his ministry is not to restore bodies to health but to restore spirits to wholeness.
The word Gospel means “good news.” It is a story that ends not in death but life; it is centred not in humiliating sorrow but in liberating joy; it does not demand blind adherence to laws and rituals but invites us to welcome the Spirit of compassion and love into our lives. The Gospel of Jesus is about the re-creation and transformation that are possible through reconciliation, justice, mercy and community.
Like Jesus’ rising before dawn and going to a deserted place, we too need that “deserted,” “out of the way” place to re-connect with God, to rediscover God’s presence in our life, to find within ourselves again a sense of gratitude for the blessings of that presence. Jesus does not perform miracles to dazzle the crowds and glory in their acclaim but to awaken his hearers’ faith and trust in the word of God, to restore all of humanity to God’s vision of one world in which all men and women love and respect one another as brothers and sisters under the Father’s loving providence.
You can read the Pew Sheet hereEpiphany-5-B